Minoxidil and Finasteride After Hair Transplant
Written by Hair Transplant Surgeon Ali Emre Karadeniz
Publish Date: 12.04.2019
If you are suffering from male pattern hair loss, using medication such as minoxidil and finasteride reduces or prevents your hair loss. However hair transplant is a different issue, hair transplants improve the appearance of the hair by re-distributing some of the remaining hair.
This is a frequently asked question: "Do I have to use hair loss medication after a hair transplant?"
Treating hair loss and treating baldness are two separate things, hair loss is a progressive problem and in fact there's no definitive solution to hair loss or in other words you can't get a treatment so that you never lose hair again. However, you can have a palliative treatment that means you can reduce hair loss, postpone hair loss or prevent it to a certain degree and have a better quality hair for a longer period of time.
The treatment of hair loss is to use medication and these are minoxidil and finasteride. If you are suffering from male pattern hair loss, using medication such as minoxidil and finasteride reduces or prevents your hair loss.
Hair transplant is a different issue, hair transplant do not prevent hair loss and hair transplants aren't the treatment for hair loss. Hair transplants improve the appearance of the hair by re-distributing some of the remaining hair. Hair transplants are surgical interventions to improve on baldness. Baldness is the consequence of hair loss. When we do a hair transplant we are trying to improve on baldness however we do not prevent hair loss, hair loss just continues to cause our hairs to be lost. If we want to prevent or reduce hair loss we must use minoxidil or finasteride.
Patients ask me "Do I have to use hair loss medication after a hair transplant?" The short answer to this question is "Whoever wants to prevent hair loss as much as they can, using medication helps them to prevent or reduce hair loss." In fact there's no relationship between having a hair transplant and using medication because hair transplant is just re-distributing some of the remaining hairs at a giving time. Prevention of hair loss is with hair loss medication.
You can do the same even if you don't have a hair transplant. If you ask me "Do I have to use medication to prevent hair loss." my answer would be "Yes, that's the only way to prevent hair loss."
Having a hair transplant has no relationship with having to use hair loss medication, these are two different problems and two different solutions. Using medication has no direct relationship with having a hair transplant. However there's an indirect relationship that means if you are having a hair transplant we have to assume that you are not happy with your baldness and you are not happy with your hair loss.
So it makes no sense to go forward and have surgery to improve on your baldness while not taking care of your ongoing hair loss, as you can see there's an indirect relationship between using medication to prevent hair loss and the hair transplant. Once you move forward to have surgery to improve your hair, it means you are declaring that you don't want to be bald, so in order not to be bald you can't just have hair transplant, you have to do something to prevent your future/ongoing hair loss and this is by hair loss medications. When you have a hair transplant taking medication - you don't have to do it but you'd better consider medication - helps to reduce or prevent hair loss. Because it's more consistent to try and prevent hair loss if you're already considering surgery to treat your baldness.
Written By Dr. Ali Emre Karadeniz, MD, PhD
Ali Emre Karadeniz, MD (Dr. K) is the only American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery Certified Turkish plastic surgeon. He has performed over 2000 hair operations. He is an active member of the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS).